All eyes were on Copacabana Beach one year ago as triathlon closed out the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, and Gwen Jorgensen’s historic finish earned the U.S. it’s very first gold medal in Olympic triathlon. So, what is Team USA up to now? From podium finishes to career changes and a baby, the U.S. Olympic Triathlon Team shares what life looks like now and what Games memories they cherish the most.
USA Triathlon: So, what are you doing now?
Katie Zaferes: Currently I'm training in Les Angles, France, preparing for WTS Stockholm next weekend.
Joe Maloy: I've spent the past few months exploring my interests outside of triathlon and deciding on a career. I'm also in the preliminary stages of setting up a nonprofit foundation that will aim to fight our country's opioid crisis with habit-based endurance sport training and competition.
Joe Maloy led the men’s U.S. effort with a 23rd place finish at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games (left). As he explores the next step in his career, he’s given back to the sport by coaching a developmental triathlon camp in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, in April (middle, right).
Ben Kanute: I am still training for triathlon one year later! I have done a bunch of ITU as well as non-draft racing this year to mix it up a bit.
Sarah True: I'm currently racing 70.3s and enjoying life in New Hampshire.
Hey, where's the champagne?! Some fun things that I've learned over the past few weeks since my switch from Olympic distance to non-draft racing: -Socks are good -So is eating lots of snacks while racing -An official carrying a whiteboard with your number on it does NOT mean that you have a littering penalty (it was a nice break in the penalty tent, albeit unnecessary 😂) -chamois butter is your friend -podiums don't always have bubbly -after eating lots of sugar, the world's best post-race food is fries smothered in gravy and topped with smoked meat and cheese curds Thanks to Mont Tremblant for hosting a really cool race & to @hollylawrencetri & @mtisseyre for showing me how high the bar is on the bike. Lots of work ahead of me, but I'm excited for the challenge.
Greg Billington announced his retirement from elite triathlon earlier this week and that he’s accepted a job with Visa. “It’s an unbelievable opportunity. After listening to maybe a thousand payments podcasts, I’ve become more fascinated and intimidated by the nuances of payments industry and the role Visa plays. I can’t wait to start.”
Gwen Jorgensen and her husband, Patrick Lemieux, have been in a transition of their own, and welcomed their first child to the world on Aug. 16.
USAT: What’s one memory from the 2016 Games that you’ll never forget?
KZ: The Closing Ceremonies was my greatest memory of the Olympics. I loved being surrounded by all the other countries and walking out into the stadium looking up into the stands with all the athletes. I felt such a feeling of pride, awe, giddiness and excitement. The Olympics had literally just ended and it got me so pumped for the next one.
JM: Hearing "Let's go, Joe!" and "U-S-A" chants on the run course.
ST: I'll never forget how my friends and family were there for me after my race. Having people who've been there for my journey helped keep things in perspective; while I was heartbroken about my inability to race that day, their presence reminded me of the incredible journey to the start line.
BK: I will never forget the actual race. It was amazing to be lined up on the start line representing the USA! The whole experience of representing my country during the race with huge crowds lining the course was amazing.
USAT: How did the Rio 2016 Olympic Games change you?
KZ: I think it just made me even more driven in my sport. To me it really exposed my weaknesses and made me so much more motivated and dialed in to where I was at and where I needed to get if I wanted to really be one of the best in the world.
Katie Zaferes finished 18th in her first Olympic Games (left) and has her sights set on the Tokyo 2020 Games. This July, Zaferes was part of the four-person U.S. team to earn a silver medal at the ITU Triathlon Mixed Relay World Championships in Hamburg, Germany (right).
JM: Participating in Rio 2016 has given me an incredible platform to meet different people and enjoy new experiences. Plus, I was inspired to get a tattoo!
ST: The entire process makes me fully realize how important it is to have a team of committed people around you. While triathlon is an individual sport, the Rio 2016 games really emphasized the importance of having a strong support structure.
BK: I think Rio helped me grow as a person and athlete. It showed me what the top level of the sport was, and it taught me a lot of things about how I prepare mentally and physically. To be able to peak for one race every four years is not easy, so the experience as a whole was enlightening.
Since Ben Kanute’s Olympic debut in Rio (left), he’s won the 2017 Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon and Philadelphia Escape Triathlon, in addition to helping Team USA race to silver at the ITU Triathlon Mixed Relay World Championships in Hamburg, Germany.
Relive the excitement of the Games at usatriathlon.org/rio2016.